Water Sanitation Hygiene: NGO trains Kaduna Community

By Habila Victor, Kaduna

As part of efforts to promote SDGs, the Transfer of Appropriate Sustainable Technology and Expertise (TASTE) an NGO headquartered in Plateau State has commenced a 3 day Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) training for members of Gwagwada community, Chikun LGA in Kaduna state.

Declaring the program open, the executive Chairman Chikun LG, HON. Samaila Leeman encouraged participants to take the training seriously as the growth and development of Gwagwada community largely depends on it.

He further called on the organizers to extend their hands of charity to other communities who suffer similar water related issues.

The Program Officer, TASTE NG, Jonathan Makan, said the project through the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is aimed at helping communities combat the many effects of water borne diseases and to promote healthier societies.

“Government cannot do everything, so there are organizations that help communities like yours to compliment what government is doing, that is why USAID saw it for to support local government and state to reach out to your community with the provision of water to see how they can curtail water related diseases and infections.

According to Makan, the participants will be trained as health promoters who will also train other members of their community about the importance of hygiene and the hazards of poor sanitation, like indiscriminate dumping of watse and open defecation which have boomerang effects on the environment and general health of society.

“It is your responsibility to take care of the water project and ensure that it is maintained so that members of the community can benefit from it for a long time to come”.

He further stated that the training is a pre-requisite activity towards the establishment of bore hole in a beneficiary community, and for every borehole drilled, four toilets are built along side.

Gwagwada community will be the first community to benefit from this USAID sponsored project with a total of three boreholes to be constructed.

​AstraZeneca vaccines: EU says no indication vaccination causes blood clotting

The EU’s drug regulator said Tuesday it remained “firmly convinced” of the benefits of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine despite several countries suspending its use over blood clot fears.

“We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19 with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death outweigh the risk of these side effects,” European Medicines Agency chief Emer Cooke told an online press conference.

“At present, there is no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions.

“They have not come up in the clinical trials and they are not listed as known or expected side effects,” Cooke added.

Clinical trials had shown “very small numbers of blood clot developments”, she added.

The Amsterdam-based EMA’s safety committee was meeting Tuesday to assess new information and would reach a conclusion at a special meeting on Thursday, Cooke said.

They would then “advise us on whether there are any further actions that need to be taken”, she said, without specifying what the measures could be.

A number of European countries including France and Germany suspended the use of the vaccine following the reports of blood clots.

World Health Organisation experts are also meeting on Tuesday to discuss the vaccine.

The EMA approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people of all ages on January 29.

But its rollout was troubled from the start, with several countries initially saying it should not be used on older people. 


​COVID-19 vaccines safe for Nigerians – PSN

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, on Wednesday declared that given the scientific evidence available at their disposal as well as professional competence in the science and technology of vaccines formulation protocol that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for Nigerians.

They also decried that even with the availability of funds and infrastructure Nigeria cannot produce vaccines due to the non-passage of the Pharmacy Bill into law. .

Addressing a press conference on the Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines in Lagos, the President of the Society, Pharm Sam Ohuabunwa called for caution in the use of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.

Ohuabunwa who dismissed various conspiracy theories against the vaccines urged Nigerians to accept the vaccines when they become available.

“With our avowed responsibility to diligently nest medication safety of Nigerians, we make bold to say that the vaccines are safe and should be accepted when they become available to us.

“Vaccination has remained a veritable tool for disease prevention, control and possible elimination. For example, Nigeria, in August 2020 eradicated polio through effective vaccination. We should be proud that some Nigerians are involved in the development of the vaccines to save humanity from this dreaded disease.”

Represented by the National Publicity Secretary, Pharm. Ijeoma Okey-Ewurum, he pointed out that vaccination should be seen as public health good and should be delivered to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

Noting that the place of pharmacists who are the custodian of drugs was fundamental, he said participation of pharmacists must be secured to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccinations and generation of data for much needed local vaccine research.

He called for the filling up of funding gap in vaccine capacity building, enforcement of COVID-19 protocols even as vaccinations begins, strengthening the health system and infrastructure and improved budget allocation, as well as better management of COVID-19 palliatives in all states as well as considering community pharmacies as vaccination centres to reach a larger number of Nigerians within the shortest period of time.

He also pointed out that the COVID-19 experience which led countries including China to ban exportation of essential medicines should provoke the country to a resolution to make Nigeria a hub for active pharmaceutical ingredients and the revamping of abandoned vaccine plant.

“COVID-19 remains an emerging infectious disease. We must arise to make sure that another pandemic does not take us unawares. A multi-sectoral approach should be key to mobilising the stakeholders towards sustainable solutions that will put Nigeria on the path of medicines security, economic recovery and development.”

Speaking on Ivermectin, Ohuabunwa appealed to health professionals and Nigerians at large to exercise caution in the use of the drug for non approved indications such as COVID-19 as every drug is a poison and can cause under-reported side effect or adverse events especially when used for new indications with different dosing regimen.

“Ivermectin is a drug that has been around but what we are worried about is the protocol that is being proposed for even prophylaxis in COVID-19. In fact, the one that is being forward as curative is beyond what human beings can tolerate as of today. That is why Pharmacists have continued to scream it at every point because we are the custodians of drugs and we understand the chemistry of these drugs. We know what they do.

“We are also looking at the long time effect because as of today, there is no finished line. It is being taunted because nothing has been established. Some trials showed that the recovery period was shorter but it has not been reproduced here and no extensive study has been done, also COVID-19 is a viral infection which if you treat it, it takes two weeks if you don’t treat it, it takes a fortnight. If the immune system is working, people can recover on their own. Until we do our study in our environment we do not support people going to take ivermectin. Right now, it is being recommended that people should take every week or two weeks, no agreement as at today.

“The first instance is that this medication is proposed for a very short time therapy. You take it for two days in a period of a year or two years. This is now what people take every week or two. That is why Pharmacists are insisting that we must have empirical evidence before we can say yes to this.

Speaking on Vaccine production, he said Nigeria cannot produce vaccine currently due to the absence of a Pharmacy Law.

Ohuabunwa said Nigeria cannot do much about vaccine protocol until the pharmacy bill is signed into law. He said the Bill will enable NAFDAC to do the due diligence adding that. Most drugs produced in the country cannot ship abroad due to the absence of pharmacy law.

Corroborating his views, the National Secretary, Pharm. Olugbenga Falabi explained that the last assembly actually passed the Bill but it failed to receive the President assent, adding that the Bill has been represented all over again.

“We plead to Nigerians and the members of the National Assembly to see the need to do their work all over again. We also hope the Bill will receive the President’s assent before his tenure elapsed.”

​Nigeria to get 140m doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, 2022 — GOVS

The 36 state governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, have disclosed that the country will take delivery of 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover 40 percent of the nation’s population this year, while another 60 million doses were being planned for 2022.

Disclosing this yesterday, at Chatham House London, UK at a virtual event, Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi said that beyond the procurement of Vaccines by the Federal Government, the governors were strong proponents of the utilisation of public-private partnerships in vaccines procurement as a means of closing the gap between what is available and what is necessary to achieve immunity.

Fayemi spoke on the “Role of Nigeria’s State Governments in Recovery: Responses to COVID- 19 Linked Challenge.”

He however, urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency adopt an approach that would make it move away from emergency response to strengthening the resilience and sustainability of the health system.

Fayemi said: “We expect that about 80m doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40 percent of the population, while another 60m doses are being planned for 2022. Beyond government’s procurement of vaccines, we at the NGF are also strong proponents of the utilisation of public-private partnerships in vaccines procurement as a means of closing the gap between what is available and what is necessary to achieve herd immunity.

“As we already know, vaccines themselves are not cost effective, but rather immunisation is. To ensure people are immunized, state governments have a role to play in supporting the logistics and ensuring people get the vaccines.

“As we look forward to recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our approach must shift from emergency response to strengthening the resilience and sustainability of our health system. We must task ourselves and rethink existing assumptions and facts around financing and delivery of health care in a manner that guarantees we build back better.

“In the medium to long term, we must begin to think strategically about the future of public health security and therefore, explore the potential of in-country manufacturing of approved vaccines, following technology transfer. The pandemic is a good reminder of the implications of public health outbreaks on national security. We must take the leap and gain a better level of independence, in the area of vaccine research and development but also science generally.

“When Nigeria reported its first case in late February 2020, only four laboratories in the country could test for COVID-19. By October 2020, testing capacity had expanded to over 70 laboratories across the 36+1 states.”

The scale up of laboratory services was important given the size of the country and the need to rapidly obtain results for suspected cases. As at December 2020, more than 45,000 health workers have been trained across the country on infection prevention and control measures.

“These preventive actions are important given that a major priority in the country’s response is to break the chain of transmission individually and collectively through adherence to public health and social measures.

“On the economic front, our major priority is to secure livelihoods. National monetary and fiscal policy reforms must align to support improvements in household income. Working with the Federal Government, a number of employment creation programmes have been created and currently being implemented. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has played an important role here and we must commend them.

“Intervention funds have been made available with interest rates below inflation, in the hope that we can stimulate growth of small and medium scale businesses. Similarly, institutions such as the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture have also given moratoriums on existing loans to ease the burden of payment.”

On what the federal and state governments have done so far, he said, “Nigeria was very pro-active in handling the first wave and continues to remain so. Prior to the confirmation of the first case on February 27, 2020, the country actively monitored events around the world, with a public health advisory published by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, a month before the first confirmed case in the country.

“A presidential task force was established to coordinate multi-sectoral response to the pandemic while a public health emergency operation centre was established under the NCDC. In March 2020, the country’s airports were closed with the exception of essential flights and inter-state movements restricted in order to minimise the spread of the virus.

“On the health front, about $20million was made available to support NCDC at the outset to scale its capacity to adequately respond to emerging issues.

“The private sector in Nigeria harnessed their strengths to establish the Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID, which was launched in March 2020, to support the government’s control efforts.

​COVID-19: Kano govt shuts hospital for attending to severe COVID-19 cases

Kano state government has shut down UMC Hospital in the state capital to check the excesses of its management for allowing the admission of severe cases of COVID-19 instead of referring them to designated isolation centres in the state.

The state commissioner for information, Malam Muhammad Garba stated this on Tuesday in Kano following a visit to the hospital.

“What the hospital did was parallel to standards set by the state Task Force on COVID-19 that requires such a facility to attend only to mild cases of the disease.

“As a result of its inaction, two confirmed patients with severe cases died, one at the facility and another on the way to the hospital.

Malam Garba, who was in the company of the commissioner for health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa during a visit to the hospital, said it would remain closed pending resolution of the matter between the management and the state government.

He further stated that two other patients with severe cases of the disease have since been transferred to the designated isolation centre, while other patients on admission have been taken to Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital.

​Maternal, child mortality: I’ll change the narrative in Lagos —Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has expressed commitment to change the narrative of maternal and child mortality indices in Lagos, just as he renewed his promises to provide affordable accommodation to the masses in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said this while commissioning Nigeria’s first Edge-Certified Lagos State Eco-Friendly affordable public housing scheme, comprising 252 units of two-bedroom bungalows, unveiling a new Maternal and Childcare Centre, and the School of Anesthesia, located in Idale, Badagry Local Government Area, and Badagry General Hospital, respectively.

He said: “I am immensely proud to handover the newly constructed and equipped four-floor 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre, and the School of Anesthetic Studies, Badagry, to the people of Badagry.

“Maternal and child mortality is so close to my heart that I am ready to do everything within my personal and official capacity to put an end to it in Lagos State. In most developing countries including Nigeria, there are disturbing maternal, newborn and child mortality indices, but under my watch, Lagos State will change the narrative.

“Through consistent action and smart investments, our women will no longer die while giving birth; we will eradicate infant and under-5 mortality in our State.”

While noting that his administration would not pay lip service to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Sanwo-Olu said that his administration was taking steps to ensure that residents have greater access to all they need for a peaceful and prosperous life in every sphere.

The Governor disclosed that the facility, since commencement of operation late December, 2020, had recorded 3000 out-patient clinic attendance, adding that 49 normal deliveries and 60 caesarian sections were also carried out at the centre.

He said: “With the inauguration of this Maternal and Child Centre, the people of Badagry and adjoining communities now have increased access to quality and safe healthcare, reduction or even complete eradication of maternal and infant mortality as well as general improvement in all maternal and child health indices in this local government.

“All these benefits will in turn have a positive ripple effect on the development of socio-economic indices of Badagry.”

​FG not contemplating another lockdown— COVID-19 Task Force

The Federal Government has dismissed reports that it was planning to, again, lock down the country in the wake of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 disclosed this on Thursday, in a statement by Mr. Willie Bassey, the Director, Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The statement read: “The attention of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has been drawn to some misinformation circulating on the social media to the effect that the Federal Government is contemplating another lockdown this weekend.

“The PTF wishes to state categorically that there is no such consideration at any of its meetings nor has any recommendation been made to this effect to the President.

“The PTF frowns at such unpatriotic misinformation which is capable of causing unnecessary panic and anxiety among the populace.

“It urges Nigerians to disregard the misinformation and join hands with the Federal Government to contain the spread of the virus in the country by adhering to Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) as recommended by the PTF.”

​COVID-19: UNICEF Decries Unending School Closures

By Habila Victor, Kaduna.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has decried the continued closure of schools in “too many countries” on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the agency said this was in spite of increasing evidence that schools were not drivers of the pandemic.

UNICEF also pointed out “overwhelming evidence” of the impact of school closures on children…

It warned that the number of out-of-school children was set to rise by 24 million “to a level we have not yet seen in years and have fought so hard to overcome”. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the agency said this was in spite of increasing evidence that schools were not drivers of the pandemic.

UNICEF also pointed out “overwhelming evidence” of the impact of school closures on children.

It warned that the number of out-of-school children was set to rise by 24 million “to a level we have not yet seen in years and have fought so hard to overcome”. 

It noted the “devastating cost of school closures, which it said affected 90 per cent of students worldwide and denied a third of school children access to remote education.

“Children’s ability to read, write and do basic mathematics has suffered, and the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy have diminished.

“Their health, development, safety and well-being are at risk. The most vulnerable among them will bear the heaviest brunt.

“Without school meals, children are left hungry and their nutrition is worsening.

“Without daily interactions with their peers and a reduction in mobility, they are losing physical fitness and showing signs of mental distress,” the agency noted.

The agency added that school children were more vulnerable to abuse, child marriage and child labour in the absence of the safety that schools often provided.

This, UNICEF emphasised, is why shuttering schools must be a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.

“Assessing the risk of transmission at the local level should be a key determinant in decisions on school operations.

“Nationwide school closures must be avoided whenever possible.

“Where there are high levels of community transmission, where health systems are under extreme pressure and where closing schools is deemed inevitable, safeguarding measures must be put in place.

“This includes ensuring that children who are at risk of violence in their homes, who are reliant upon school meals and whose parents are essential workers are able to continue their education in their classrooms.

“In case of lockdowns, schools must be among the first to reopen once authorities start lifting restrictions.

“Catch-up classes should be prioritised to ensure that children who have been unable to learn remotely are not left behind.

“If children are faced with another year of school closures, the effects will be felt for generations to come,” UNICEF said.

​COVID-19: No lock-down for now, says FG

The Federal Government, yesterday, said that the economic and social implications may make it difficult for it to impose another lock-down in the country.

It also said that from just two national reference laboratories, Nigeria now has over 100 public and private laboratories across all the states for the testing of Covid-19.

These came as Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, directed relevant formations to enforce temporary travel restrictions by the Federal Government on 100 travelers that defaulted Covid-19 tests.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has fixed January 18, for the resumption of schools for the second term of 2020/2021 academic session, while Nasarawa State Government yesterday ordered public and private schools in the state to remain closed from the initial January 4, 2021, to a new resumption date in two weeks.

Also, Edo State has recorded 36 new cases of coronavirus in the last five days, bringing to 198, the number of cases of the virus since it started tracking the second wave of the pandemic in the state from December 1, 2020.

In another development, a mobile court in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has ordered that four parks and gardens in the territory be sealed off for two weeks for violating the Covid-19 regulations.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who addressed newsmen in Lagos, however, urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to all Covid-19 protocols laid down by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

He said: “I don’t think there is anywhere the Federal Government said it will impose another lock-down. However, the Federal Government is not happy that Nigerians are not observing all the Covid-19 protocols like washing of hands and wearing of face masks. The Federal Government is aware of the economic and social implications of having another lock-down. The Federal Government will, however, urge Nigerians to follow all the Covid-19 protocols.”

Nigeria increases testing labs to 100

He added: “From just two national reference laboratories for the testing of COVID-19, we now have over 100 laboratories, public and private, across all the states of the federation.

“Treatment centres were also built, in collaboration with the states and the private sector (CA-COVID), across the country to isolate and treat cases of Covid-19, while the Federal Government, through the Sustainable Production Pillar of the PTF, has been encouraging local manufacturing companies to embark on the production of consumables such as face masks, ventilators, hand sanitizers and face shields.

“To mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy across all levels, the Federal Government unveiled the Economic Sustainability Plan to support families, small and medium enterprises and the manufacturing sector, among others.”

Immigration warns travellers defaulting Covid-19 rules

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, by its Public Relations Officer, Sunday James, said the defaulting passengers have been restricted for a period of six months — from January1 to June 30.

He noted that the passengers were restricted “due to non-compliance with the mandatory Day-7 post-arrival Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test by all in-bound travellers.

“All the affected passengers have been notified and will be prevented from travelling passport re-issuance and travelling outside the country during this period. The Nigeria Immigration Service hereby warns all affected passengers to comply, and avoid breaching public health protocols and refusal of departure.”

The Federal Government had earlier announced the details of the passports of the first 100 passengers who failed to undergo Covid-19 testing after returning to the country will be revealed publicly and the passports will also be suspended. The move came as the country is witnessing a second wave of the virus in recent weeks which has caused a spike in cases across the country.

Lagos fixes Jan 18 for resumption of schools

On its part, the Lagos State Government, speaking through the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, in a statement, said all public and private schools below tertiary level in Lagos should be re-opened on the date, advising the authorities to comply with Covid-19 protocols.

The statement said: “The Lagos State Government has announced that all public and private schools below tertiary level in Lagos State should be reopened for the second term 2020/21 academic session from January 18, 2021.

Mrs Adefisayo who revealed this today (yesterday) stated that this is in line with the Federal Government’s directive coupled with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She therefore, enjoined all schools to make efforts to comply with all the outlined Covid-19 requirements for resumption of schools. “Not just for the improvement of overall school operations, but for the safe re-opening of academic activities to support the Lagos State Government’s quest for a full return.”

The commissioner advised that schools should have flexible plans where students and teachers who feel sick can teach or learn from home via available online platforms, adding that schools should also strive to avoid any Covid-19 infection among all students and staff.

She also enjoined teachers, students and visitors to wear face masks at all times, observe physical distancing, embrace regular hand-washing with soap under running water and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene within the school premises.

Schools were initially scheduled to reopen on January 4, but the resumption date was shifted, raising concerns that the government may impose a lock-down over the second wave of coronavirus.

Nasarawa orders schools closure till January 18

It was not clear at press time, whether the extension of the school resumption date in Nasarawa State was in response to the second wave of the coronavarus pandemic reportedly being experienced in the state.

It will be recalled that the new wave of Covid-19 recently hit Nasarawa, leaving no fewer than 30 persons confirmed positive in one day.

The state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in a statement by the Commissioner, Hajiya Fatu Sabo, yesterday, directed all public and private schools operating in the state and other stakeholders in the education sector to adhere strictly to the directive.

The statement read:

“The ministry wishes to inform members of the public, particularly parents, guardians, students, pupils, chief evaluation officers, principals, head teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector, that based on the outcome of consultations with the state Ministry of Health, all public and private schools in the state will now re-open on January 18, 2021.

“This directive and arrangement supersedes earlier communication on the matter. All concerned are therefore, required to strictly adhere, please” the statement added.

The state government had disclosed that the state has so far recorded 15 deaths including former provost of the College of Education, Akwanga, Dr Rebecca Umaru since the outbreak of the pandemic..

Speaking at the enlarged meeting of the Covid-19 council at Government House, Lafia, then acting governor, who is also the Covid-19 task force chairman, Dr Emmanuel Akabe disclosed that the number of patients discharged stood at 668 between March and December.

He stressed the need for the state to take measures to curtail the spread, considering the proximity of the state to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, which is among the cities with high number of positive cases of Covid-19.

“We are aware of what is happening now in the world as far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned, there have been upsurges and we never knew that it was going to affect us this much.

“In Nasarawa State, the surge has come, it’s real. We had gone as low as below 100 positive cases diagnosed, but in the last one month, it became a different story altogether,” he said.

Edo records 36 new cases in 5 days

In Edo State, Covid-19 Incident Manager, Dr Andrew Obi, disclosed, yesterday in Benin at a meeting of the State Emergency Operation Centre headed by Governor Godwin Obaseki, that of the 36 new cases, 12 were reported from the PCR molecular laboratory at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, in Benin City, while 24 cases were at the laboratory at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, Irrua.

He said: “We recorded 36 new coronavirus cases in the last five days. A total of 198 cases have been reported in the state since December 1, 2020 when we started tracking the second wave of the pandemic.

“We currently have 104 active cases in the state. We have a case positivity of 12.5 per cent.”

He disclosed that the state government has reactivated its disease surveillance system to manage the spread of the pandemic, urging residents in the state to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“We are prepared to deal with the second wave of the pandemic, but the people must play their role.

“They should ensure to abide by the precautionary measures set by the government to curb the spread of the virus,” he said.

Mobile court seals 4 parks in FCT

Mr Ikharo Atta, Head of Media and Enlightenment of the Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Covid-19 Protocols Enforcement Task Force, disclosed during a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja, that the affected gardens were Eden Park and Garden in Utako, Byuan Resources Ltd, Skychef Park and Garden as well as 7th Option Park and Leisure Services, all in Garki II, Abuja.

He also disclosed that 12 persons arrested at the gardens “very late in the night,” would be arraigned after two weeks.

“What we observe is that most of them (gardens) operate beyond the period allowed. The persons who were in the shops didn’t comply with physical distancing. Face masks weren’t there at all and no hand washing points.

“They were totally in breach of the Covid-19 protocol and the judge in his wisdom, Magistrate Egbe Arafe, issued the seal-off order for two weeks.

“After the two weeks, we will now come back to the court and continue the trial,” Attah said.

Attah, who said that the task force will focus on night clubs, advised gardens and parks operators “to do the needful.”

He also said that the authority will not yield to undue demands by children and parents for FCTA to re-open Millennium Park, Jabi Lake and other parks shut down due to Covid-19

He said that the measure was to save the lives of the people.

​COVID-19 2nd wave: Lagos doctors lament attitude of Lagosians

Medical doctors under the auspices of the Medical Guild have decried what it described as ”complacency” among Lagosians on the effects of COVID-19 even though the country was neck-deep in the second wave of the pandemic.

The doctors under the employ of the Lagos State government who also called for restraint on the part of the public urged the authorities of the State government to swing into action and put in place all that is necessary to safeguard the citizens.

In its message tagged: ”New Year Message: A time for Restraint and A Time for Action” the Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr Sodipo Oluwajimi said the use of face masks, social distancing, avoiding large crowds, isolating when sick and presenting to the hospital when symptoms like difficulty in breathing occur must remain in place through our the festive season.

“The first wave of COVID-19 brought with it unforeseen problems characterized by the fear of the unknown and led to a large number of infections, death, economic and social deprivation among all facets of the population including health care workers.

“We were able to emerge from the first wave using a combination of human kindness, innovation, hope given by spiritual fortitude and the application of science.

“The use of personal protective equipment, social distancing, hand washing, improved testing and contact tracing for SARS COV-2 with resilient work by our health care workers and cooperation of the public played a great role in achieving success., ” he said

Oluwajimi further reminded Lagosians that the virus in the second wave seems more vicious with several deaths among the elderly and vulnerable including health care workers.

He said the surge in new cases maybe most likely linked to the increasing influx of Nigerians and foreigners from abroad, poor use of social distancing and masks and complacency among the public on the effects of the virus.

“Now more than ever; is the need for restraint on the part of the populace, we must use the lessons learnt during the first wave to defeat this second wave. ”

He called for continuous health promotion, strengthening of border controls, testing and isolation of travellers from foreign countries, expanding testing of contacts and ill persons with prompt result notification, and expanding treatment especially for the vulnerable and ill.

Oluwajimi said the Government must also ensure social benefits for the most vulnerable and affected, while health care workers who bear the brunt of infections should also be prioritised for provision of personal protective equipment, health, and life insurance, and appropriate hazard allowances.

He pledged as members of the Medical Guild, Lagos to provide necessary care for patients and the populace while partnering with Government to have home-made solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic as it affects Nigerians and Lagos in particular.

He added that by working together, the state and Nigeria at large would emerge victorious from the second wave as they did in the first wave.